Wednesday, 7 February 2007


Dick Morris is one of the sharpest knives in the drawer. He says it’s shaping up to be Hillary Clinton versus Rudy Giuliani in 2008. I hope he’s wrong. I couldn’t bring myself to vote for Giuliani, and I know that there are millions of other conservative Americans who feel the same way.

Cowboys and Angels

Say what you will about George Michael. The man can sing. This is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard.

Reflections on Vista

See here.


Here is a Wall Street Journal column about 24. I watched this past Monday’s episode after missing that of the previous week. While I enjoy the series, the sound quality is atrocious. I have a 42-inch plasma television with excellent speakers, and I had the sound high; but there were whole stretches of dialogue I could not make out. The president doesn’t speak; he whispers. Jack Bauer often speaks with his head pointed toward the floor, which makes even lip reading impossible. It’s infuriating! Stop mumbling! Articulate your words! Has anyone else had this problem? By the way, don’t say I’m getting old. I don’t have this problem with any other television program.

Best of the Web Today


Richard Swinburne on Belief

Belief is thus an inner attitude towards propositions which is manifested in action and often evidenced by public criteria, but which may exist independently of its manifestations and of evidence shown in public behaviour.

(Richard Swinburne, Faith and Reason [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981], 16)


Let it never be said that libertarians are humorless. See here.

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “The Other Defense Budget” (editorial, Feb. 6):

Spending on weapons rose nearly 20 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, and President Bush’s 2008 budget demands even more money for exorbitantly priced and poorly performing weapons systems like the Air Force’s F-22 stealth fighter and the Virginia-class attack submarine.

But isn’t it time to provide a strong foundation for growth for the American people—not just for defense contractors?

Unfortunately for the American public, the President’s 2008 budget continues to sacrifice Social Security benefits for the extraordinarily expensive illusion of “national security.”

Congress should act on the growing national consensus demanding sensible budget priorities and block the administration’s attempts to defund important programs.

Ben Cohen
New York, Feb. 6, 2007
The writer, a co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s and the founder of TrueMajority, is president of Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities.

Note from KBJ: Let’s offer our enemies ice cream! Recall the last time you were eating ice cream. You weren’t thinking about killing people, were you?

Animal Ethics

Here is Mylan Engel’s latest post. If I may say a word or two, please don’t blow Mylan’s posts off on the ground that he’s wrong about animals. In other words, don’t be dogmatic. Mylan, good philosopher that he is, argues for his positions. You should take this as a challenge to discover what, if anything, is wrong with his arguments. Is he factually mistaken, for example? If he is, then you can correct him. Does he contradict himself? If he does, then you can point it out. You may discover that there is nothing wrong with his arguments, in which case the rational thing to do is accept his conclusions (and, if you have sufficient willpower, act on them). One of the most common complaints I hear about animal-rights advocates is that they’re trying to impose their values on others. This is almost never the case. What they’re doing is trying to impose their readers’ values on them. That is to say, they’re demonstrating, via logic, that people aren’t living up to their own (often lofty) moral standards. (Philosophers, like economists, are bearers of bad tidings.) In my opinion, Mylan is one of the very best philosophers working in the area of animal rights today. I respect and admire him tremendously, even though we don’t see eye to eye on politics. Perhaps you will come to respect and admire him, too, if you read his posts sympathetically rather than defensively. Think of him as helping you work out a coherent set of beliefs rather than as getting you to do something you don’t want to do. He is your friend, not your enemy.

Hall of Fame?

Trevor Hoffman. (For an explanation of this feature, see here.)

A Year Ago